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How Long Do I Have To Rough Flesh A Deer?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by viking0923, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. viking0923

    viking0923 New Member

    I am wondering if there is a time limit I should give myself when fleshing and turning a whitetail deer. As a beginner I am naturally not very fast due to trying to be careful. I was hoping someone will be able to say something to the effect of (paraphrasing) "my rule of thumb is 45 minutes" or "you can buy yourself time by doing xyz". I bought a Taxidermy101 video (Bill Atkins) and in the video he says he can can personally fully flesh it before pickling but says people learning would need to just rough flesh, pickle, then final flesh before tanning... indicating (to me at least) that there is a time component that I should take into consideration. The bottom line is I don't want to create issues I could avoid with some rule of thumb guidance or suggestions.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Turn all area, lips, ears, eyes and nose, remove most red flesh from the cape and rub salt in. In most instances if you can get that all done in 3 hours you should be fine, depending on the temp of shop and cape. When I started out, it took me at least that much and I never lost one because of it.
    viking0923 likes this.

  3. I agree as long as most of the red flesh is off and everything is turned and split, you can salt, pickle, and do the final fleshing after hair is all Locked into place
    viking0923 likes this.
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    The longer a hide is left in the raw state, unfrozen, and the more it is handled the greater the risk of the hide slipping. Being a part timer myself, I have to allocate my free time to work on the various steps in the taxidermy process, which means if I can’t get a hide fleshed in the time I have allotted and have to leave it for another day or two, I increase the chnaces of losing the hide. Everybody you talk to has a different method, or uses different tools or knives; whichever suits them the best. For me, hit the hair side of the cape with stop-rot immediately, then make sure the flesh side is dry. I use 2 different scalpels for turning ears, lips, nose, and eyes; one with a #11 blade for some tight areas around eyes, and the other with a #60 blade. I use a fleshing cone to flesh areas around eyes and nose. I then use a good old fashioned fleshing beam and an ulu knife to flesh the rest of the cape...you can get one at Walmart for around $6 sold as a dicing knife. The ting is to learn the principles and and basic techniques involved you have to experiment and learn what methods you are most comfortable with and what tools you work best with. These days I give myself about an hour and a half to skin, turn and flesh a deer.
    viking0923 likes this.
  5. You can take care of alot of that with a pressure washer with turbo tip. Gets all the blood and meat gone.
    viking0923 likes this.
  6. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Temperature has a lot to do with the timing. I try to keep my skinning room at no more the 70 degrees, which means I have to have an air conditioner on a good bit, since there are four freezers and an air compressor in there throwing off heat. Wear nitrile gloves, and this will keep heat from your hands from elevating the temperature of the face when fleshing it. 3 to 4 hours is a good working time. If you need to take a break, toss it in the fridge til you return to it.
    viking0923 likes this.
  7. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    You spray stop-rot on the hair side? I had never heard that before. I assumed it was used on the flesh side.
  8. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, Stop Rot goes on the hair side to kill the bacteria on top of the skin that causes slippage. I put it on the flesh side as well - but I make sure it put it on the hair side, paricularly on foxes, coyotes, and bobcats - espcially on the ears.
    3bears likes this.
  9. Lexie Neff

    Lexie Neff New Member

    I've always used it on the hair side of the face and ears and on the flesh side of the whole thing. It makes turning ears a breeze if you have to freeze them before you turn them.
  10. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    when I cape out a deer I will throw it on the beam and flesh the face and entire neck and maybe turn the ears them freeze it so when I thaw it I will only have to deal with lips and nose